Your Next Favorite Podcast May Make You Laugh…. Or Cry

With over 600,000 podcasts now available, and new shows being published weekly, we wondered……

What content is driving the imaginations of publishers and capturing the attention of listeners?  

Turns out it’s Comedy, News & Politics and Society & Culture... by a long shot.

Podtrac took a look at February 2018 and February 2019 Podtrac data for shows in the 16 iTunes categories. We averaged the unique monthly audience of the top 20 shows in each category and did some comparisons. Here’s what we found:

Content Royalty

  • Comedy, News & Politics and Society & Culture made the top 3 in both years.

  • Each top 3 category has a top show average audience over 1.5 million listeners.

  • The 4th largest top show average audience  (Business) - is just over half the audience of the # 3 category while the #5 category, Arts, is just ⅓ of the #3 category.

  • When ranked based on absolute overall average per show audience growth, the same three categories win, but News & Politics comes in #1, followed by Comedy and then Society & Culture.

Who’s Adding Listeners?

  • Religion & Spirituality had the largest percentage audience increase  (though ranked 6th in absolute audience growth), followed by TV & Film  (7th in absolute) and Comedy (2nd in absolute).

  • News & Politics had the largest absolute audience growth (while ranking 6th in percentage growth) followed by Comedy (3rd in percent growth) and Society & Culture (10th in percentage growth).

  • Sports & Recreation had the lowest percentage audience increase or 8%  (13th in absolute audience growth) while ranking 6th in show growth (63%).

Who’s Adding Content?

  • Business had the largest percentage increase in number of shows in the category (77%), followed by Games & Hobbies (75%) and Health (71%).

  • News & Politics had the lowest percentage growth in new shows (40%) but the largest absolute growth in audience.

Here’s the February 2019 Category Ranking.

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